If you’re here, it’s likely you are not a web guru. And that’s okay! You’re a fitness professional, and that is what you intend to focus on.

That’s why you have me. I’m here to make your life a little bit easier, and your web business more successful.

I am not selling you anything here.

I am going to give you a few things you can implement on your website right now that will instantly increase your conversions. Which in turn, leads to more money in your pocket.

No Way Meme

Way.

“Web Design” as we know it today is very interesting. You can subscribe to Squarespace, Wix, etc, and build your own website with absolutely no experience. What a time to be alive.

These drag and drop builders have become increasingly popular in recent years, and there are no signs of slowing down.

But let’s set one thing straight.

I am not here to bash on these services. Yes, I am a Web Designer, and I do not love the DIY options that are out there. But, I don’t want to sound petty. Obviously, if you have no budget and you are the slightest bit tech savvy, having the option to throw a website together for next-to-nothing is a great option.

However, there is so much that goes on behind the scenes that you need to take into account.

Effective design isn’t purely about looks. It’s about performance.


Here is a very important question to ask yourself:

Would you be happy with an absolutely beautiful website that makes $0 every month?

My guess is no. So, follow-up question:

Would you be happy with an average-looking website that makes $10,000 every month?

…Of course!!


Don’t get me wrong, design is absolutely important. But, a nice looking website on its own is not going to magically produce the results you’re looking for.

To see results, there are a few major areas you need to focus on, and I’m here to help you.

Read on to see my top 3 DIY tips on how to achieve those results on your own.


1) Make your website speak directly to a specific audience.

If you own a gym that is unique because it offers a pool and full spa, the main headline on your homepage should not read “Get Pumped Up At Joe’s Gym!” Likewise, you should not be using stock photos of muscular men working out if your target audience is females just starting out on their fitness journeys.

Your website is a 24/7 working employee for your business. It is in constant communication with customers, so anything it says is representative of your business.

If someone who knows nothing about fitness and is an absolute beginner were to approach you about personal training, you would quickly lose their business if you only talked to them about your powerlifting world-records and how much you love training powerlifters.

Your website needs to treat your potential customers the same way you would. Will you be able to speak directly to every single person out there? No, but that is why you {absolutely should} have a niche (a targeted population, rather than the entire world). As long as you can speak directly to that market, your website will be significantly more effective in converting those customers.

Want a real life example? Check out Average Broz Gym in Las Vegas. Right on the homepage you see “The best place in Las Vegas, Nevada for Olympic weight lifting!” If you’re looking for Olympic weightlifting in the Las Vegas area, then you have found your match. This gym (and their website) will not appeal to every single person out there, but it is going to be far more effective at converting customer who are looking specific for some serious weightlifting.

Action item: Go to your homepage, and make your main headline or the first bit of text(the very first thing someone sees), reflective of the audience you want to talk to.


2) Simplify your homepage. Significantly.

Attention spans are short these days. You mindlessly scroll through Instagram, and you continue scrolling until something catches your eye. If it’s not appealing, you are moving right along.

Long Facebook post? No thanks, moving right along.

Website that looks like a full-on novel? Pass.

You have about 10 seconds to capture a users attention before they move on.

If you are trying to jam every single detail about your business onto your homepage, you are severely hurting your conversions.

Let’s take the obvious, extreme and obvious example of Google.

Google effective web design

The most effective and popular website on the whole internet is also the simplest. Coincidence? Me thinks not.

What you need to do is start thinking of your homepage as a “lead page”.

That seems to be the latest buzzword flying around the internet, but it’s an important one. Basically, a lead page is a stand-alone webpage designed to funnel a customer into one specific action. It can be selling an e-book, subscribing to a newsletter, or selling a t-shirt.

The lead page is designed to focus solely on that action item, without making somebody navigate through an entire website.

While your homepage isn’t going to be exactly the same as a lead page, the idea is very similar. Decide what the major call to action is and focus your homepage around that.

Gain new members for your gym. Sell a workout program. Give away a free diet guide.

Whatever your motive, focus on that and cut down on all the clutter.

Sure, the story of how your company began is great, but don’t make that a focal point. Put it on your website, absolutely, but not on your homepage. Keep the homepage as simple as humanly possible.

There’s no exact formula as to what makes an effective homepage. Each business is different, so every single strategy will also differ. However, there are a few things that you absolutely should do, and others that you shouldn’t do.

Action items:

Do…

  1. Create an effective headline with a concise call to action, and make it the first thing somebody sees.
  2. Have a visually appealing image that corresponds with the headline and catches a person’s eye.
  3. Use lots of negative space. Whether it’s literal white space or a subtle background image, negative space is super important. Unless it’s a blog post like you’re reading now, the page should not be covered in content.
  4. Simplify your navigation to be less than 7 items. The less choices you give someone, the better.
  5. Cut down the clutter and break up your content to be scannable. Thanks to social media, we’re conditioned to scan websites. Nobody is going to read every word, I promise you that.

Don’t…

  1. Abuse colors. Certain designs warrant lots of colors, but they can get distracting real fast. When in doubt, less is more.
  2. Worry about putting things “above the fold.” People know how to scroll now. Put your most important call to action as close to the top as possible, definitely, but don’t stress about people having to scroll your site. The fold died when mobile web browsing became common. The second somebody opens up a website on their phone, their thumb begins scrolling… it’s second nature.
  3. Put ads on your homepage. There are better ways to monetize your site, but that’s a topic for a different day.
  4. Abuse background images. I see this one all the time- if your site is broken up into multiple sections, do not include a background image in each section. This is a user experience nightmare! As much as possible, keep your content on top of a plain or subtle background. I know images are exciting, but they can make content incredibly difficult to read.
  5. Try to do it all on your own. If you want to know how your homepage looks, email me and I’ll take a look at it for free. I’d love to help. You don’t have to try to do it all on your own- I mean, life’s better when you say something.

3) Speed up your site

This is something that many people don’t consider until they are on the other side of it. If you check out your own site and it’s loading slowly, we don’t typically think much of it. But if we go to another website in hopes of buying something and it is lagging, well, that gets on our nerves pretty damn quickly.

Tons of surveys have been done on the subject, and I’ll let you Google search the specifics if you’d like, but here is the summary (via Kissmetrics):

  • Nearly half of all users expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less.
  • If a site isn’t loaded in 3 seconds, almost 50% of users abandon the site entirely.
  • 79% of online shoppers who experience site performance issues say they won’t return to the site to make another purchase. 79%!

Knowing site speed is important is one thing, but actually improving it is another. With websites being built through WordPress, GoDaddy, Squarespace, and everything else in between, the strategies for speeding up your site will vary. However, there are a few strategies that apply across all platforms, and you can jump on them right now.

First things first, run a speed test on your website. This way, you can see where you stand now. If you score an “A” then you are already in good shape! Anything less, try the strategies below and then run a new test and see how you improve.

Action items:

  1. Compress your images. If you have a lot of images on your site with huge file sizes, it’s going to take a ton of extra time to load them all. If you’re not creating your own images in Photoshop, then there are online tools to help you out. Take your images and upload them to TinyPNG (works for .jpg images too) and see just how much your images can be compressed. You’ll likely be surprised! Upload the new, compressed images to your site to instantly speed up your site. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to delete the old files.
  2. Keep your site updated. If you use WordPress, you can easily tell when your plugins or entire WordPress needs an update. Not only will updates help with speed, but they are also critial for security purposes.
  3. Enable Gzip compression. Don’t know what that means? No worries, most people don’t. All you need to know is that it is a method of compressing files to allow for faster network transfers. This type of compression can typically save between 50-70% of file size, which makes a noticeable difference. If you use WordPress, you can explore plugins that assist with these compressions. If you use anything else, however, it may require the help of a web developer.
  4. Make sure your hosting is adequate. If you have an e-commerce store, shared hosting like GoDaddy or Host Gator is not an ideal option. I’ve worked with clients in that very situation, and once I moved the sites to my own dedicated web hosting, their sites immediately went from a “C” speed grade to a “B” without making any other changes. Why is shared hosting potentially slowing down your site?  Shared hosting basically means that your site is hosted on a server with random websites, which can be upwards of 250 different websites. All of these sites are pooling from the same bandwidth and storage. This is why shared hosting is so cheap and often something silly like $5/month. I would definitely explore better options if you are experiencing performance issues.

 

So there you have it. Some simple ways to improve your website right now to help with your sales and conversions. Please reach out to me if you have any questions about what I discussed here. I know some of it may go over your head, and I am here to help!

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Whether this post helped you or made you incredibly angry, I’d love to hear from you.

Comments